(Two-fer) Church On Sunday: Subotica’s Synagogue and St. Theresa of Avila Basilica
That’s right folks, this weeks’ CoS is another twofer! Muz and I made a special trip to Subotica, Serbia this weekend. Subotica was already on our Belgrade (er, Serbian) Bucket List, but it was also a chance to meet Lana and Chris, the Americans-in-Serbia bloggers of “Live Life Like a Bestseller.” I think it should be subtitled “Live Life Like a Leapfrog” because they are always posing in a hilarious jumping style. You’ll have to visit the blog to see what I mean. If they have children, I predict an Olympic triple-jumper is born.
We agreed to meet at McDonald’s, aka European Meeting Point Number One. Insert-McDonald’s-hate here, but I can’t deny they’re easy to find and usually in the center of things. In Subotica, McDonald’s is inside the fabulous, art-noveau style Town Hall. Not a bad place to get a Big Mac.
As pretty as it was, we didn’t stay for long. Chris and Lana led us to another lovely cafe-lined avenue where we lingered over drinks in true Serbian style. Afterwards, they graciously led us on a tour of the town.
Subotica is a leafier, smaller version of Novi Sad. It has Hungarian/Secessionist architecture, lots of wide avenues, and little parks around every corner. A few miles away is Lake Palic, ringed by a Poconos-ish collection of Hungarian villas. We “oohed” at every street like idiots. Then Lana asked us the money question: “Want to see the synagogue?”
Does the Pope wear a big hat? RHOB could not resist. It may surprise readers that I started writing about churches not out of pious devotion, but sheer laziness. I joined NaBloPoMo last November. That first Sunday, out of desperation for things to write about, I described Belgrade’s Sveti Sava. The next Sunday, when I was struggling for material, I decided to talk about St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Budapest. A habit was born. Now, I need to see a new church every week. This is how addiction starts, kids!
The Synagogue is still beautiful, but in a state of serious disrepair. Windows are broken and the doors are locked to prevent people from wandering in and possibly injuring themselves. The local Jewish population was decimated in World War One, and there are no funds to renovate the building back to its original glory. Still, it was a lovely sight.
After that, we walked to St. Theresa of Avila, Subotica’s Catholic Basilica. St. Theresa is known for being a writer and also appears on Subotica’s coat of arms. Sister was doing doing it for herself, indeed.
The church was built in 1779. It’s been renovated several times but now there are large cracks in the facade. I realize this isn’t good for the building, but it’s awfully cool to look at. The “100” sign above the door celebrates the 100th Duzijanca, or harvest celebration.
The church was designed by a Hungarian architect, which explains the colorful detailed painting pattern along the ceiling. There is a beautiful stained glass window facing the altar, but my camera couldn’t quite capture its beauty.